Florida Panthers center Noel Acciari, Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi and Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec 22.
FIRST STAR – NOEL ACCIARI, C, FLORIDA PANTHERS
Acciari led all skaters with seven goals last week, including hat tricks in consecutive games, and ranked second in points with 7-1—8 in three contests to help the Panthers (18-12-5, 41 points) to a perfect 3-0-0 week. Acciari opened the week by recording his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 6-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Dec. 16 and followed it up with another three-goal performance (3-1—4; 1 GWG) in a 7-4 victory over the Dallas Stars Dec. 20. In doing so, he became the second player in Panthers history to score a hat trick in consecutive games (also Pavel Bure from Feb. 10-14, 2001) and just the eighth player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to score each of his first two career hat tricks in consecutive contests. He capped the week by scoring one goal in a 4-2 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes Dec. 21. A 28-year-old native of Johnston, R.I., Acciari has recorded 12-3—15 in 32 appearances this season to double his goal total from 2018-19 (6-8—14 in 72 GP w/ BOS).
SECOND STAR – ROMAN JOSI, D, NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Josi scored in each of the four games he appeared in last week, ranking second among all skaters in goals and tied for third in points with 6-1—7 in four contests to help the Predators (17-12-6, 40 points) pick up seven of eight possible standings points. Josi opened the week with 2-1—3 in a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers Dec. 16 and then scored one goal in both an 8-3 victory over the New York Islanders Dec. 17 and a 5-4 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators Dec. 19. He finished the week with another two-goal performance in a 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins Dec. 21 to extend his goal streak to four games. It marked Josi’s fourth multi-goal outing this season to lead all blueliners. The 29-year-old native of Bern, Switzerland, is in his ninth NHL season (all w/ NSH) and ranks among the top three in goals (t-1st; 13) and points (3rd; 33) by a defenseman this season.
THIRD STAR – JOONAS KORPISALO, G, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Korpisalo started all four games for the Blue Jackets (16-14-6, 38 points) while recording a perfect 4-0-0 record with a 1.50 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and one shutout. He opened the week by stopping all 30 shots he faced to blank the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals 3-0 on Dec. 16 and then started again the very next night making 18 saves in a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 17. Korpisalo finished the week by making 23 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 19 and turning aside 21 of 22 shots in a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 21 to become the only goaltender this season to record four wins in a single week (Mon-Sun). His former teammate, Sergei Bobrovsky, was the only goaltender to post a four-win week last season (Dec. 17-23, 2018 and March 26-31, 2019). A 25-year-old native of Pori, Finland, Korpisalo ranks tied for fourth with 16 wins in 2019-20 to match his career high set in 2015-16.